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The P. Gagnon & Son Blog

Get the reliable and courteous service you deserve!

fuel delivery maineIf you’ve been shopping around for a heating oil, propane, or HVAC service company for your Seacoast Region home, you’ve seen that you have options.

For many of your neighbors, the top option for generations has been P. Gagnon & Son, because they have seen the difference a longstanding, local company can make when it comes to dependable, quality service.

The advantages P. Gagnon & Son offer

History. P. Gagnon & Son have deep roots in this area. The Gagnon family has been in business serving local residents since 1904. Our commitment to top-quality service for our neighbors is why we have customers who have been with us for decades and the children and grandchildren of customers becoming P. Gagnon & Son customers.

Complete service. Managing your home’s fuel, heating, cooling, and comfort equipment needs is easier when you have a one-stop shop for it all. With P. Gagnon & Son, you get heating oil and propane delivery you can count on, as well as expert installation and service of heating systems, central air conditioning and ductless mini-splits, water heaters, and programmable thermostats.

Dependability. Unlike discounters, P. Gagnon & Son has longstanding relationships with our fuel suppliers as well as large storage facilities for our heating oil and propane supplies. Our fleet of fuel delivery trucks are well maintained, and our dispatch team is dedicated to prompt, safe, and efficient delivery of your heating oil and propane. When you need us, we’re there!

Responsiveness. Being a hometown business, we know this area in a way that no big, national fuel company can. Whether you live in North Berwick or North Hampton, York Beach or Rye Beach, we get to you with prompt, personal fuel delivery and equipment service.

Neighborliness. We keep our phones staffed 24/7 so we’re always here for our customers. When you call P. Gagnon & Son, you get a neighbor from right here in the Seacoast Region, not some call center in another time zone. Our customers get 24/7 no-heat and fuel runout services.

Your home’s safety and comfort are too important to leave in the hands of some big, indifferent national company or a fly-by-night discounter. Become a P. Gagnon & Son customer and get the best fuel and HVAC service in the Seacoast Region!

These troubleshoots may solve the problem!

air conditioning service maineWe’ve had a hot summer here in the Seacoast Region, and your home’s air conditioning system has been getting a workout but not getting much of a break as you need it to keep your home cool and comfortable.

But if you’re noticing that your central air conditioning is running, but your home isn’t getting cool, that’s a problem. Before you contact P. Gagnon & Son to request a service call, do some detective work because there may be a simple explanation for the problem that you can solve yourself and save money!

We’ve put together four troubleshoots you can do. Remember, if you’re not sure about anything, don’t hesitate to contact us.

  1. Make sure your thermostat is properly set to “cool” or “air conditioning.” 
  2. Go around your home to see if vents are blocked by furniture, curtains, or other obstructions. 
  3. Head outdoors and inspect your outdoor unit (the condenser) to see if the fan is running. If it isn’t: 
    • Check for a power switch. 
    • Check circuit breakers. 
    • TURN OFF THE POWER, then check for debris inside the condenser  
    • Check the indoor unit. 
    • Make sure all power switches for the air conditioning system are on 
  4. Inspect the air filters and clean or replace clogged ones according to manufacturer’s instructions 

Troubleshooting the a/c didn’t work: Now what?

While examining your air conditioning system indoors and out, you may notice something that suggests to the source of the problem that the troubleshoots couldn’t fix. P. Gagnon & Son offers skilled, experienced HVAC service technicians that can assist you in resolving these difficulties. Get in touch with us to schedule a service visit, and we’ll be there!

Refrigerant leak. If you hear a hissing or bubbling sound near the unit, and ice has built up on your refrigerant line, it’s likely that a refrigerant leak is to blame. If your air conditioning unit is older and uses R-22 refrigerant, it’s time to replace it. R-22 can no longer be produced in or imported to the United States, thus the price for it is already beginning to rise dramatically and will continue to do so.

Ductwork leak. The easiest approach to determine if this is the case is to walk through your house. Are there any rooms that aren’t cooling down while others are? You could also note an increase in your energy bills as a result of the A/C having to work harder to distribute cold air throughout your home because of duct leaks.

You can trust P. Gagnon & Son for expert air conditioning installation and service. Get in touch with us when your home’s A/C needs maintenance or repairs!

We Install HVAC Systems the Right Way!

hvac efficiency maineUpgrading your home’s HVAC equipment is a major investment, as you realized when you placed the order.

You are also making an investment in your home’s comfort, energy costs, and value by investing in a new HVAC system.

You get peace of mind by having P. Gagnon & Son install the new air conditioning system and furnace or boiler for you because we have the knowledge and experience to do the job right the first time.

Your HVAC system will be installed to the highest safety and quality standards. It will also be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Before we leave, our experts will pay attention to every detail and ensure that your heating and cooling system is in good working order.

What happens if an HVAC system is installed incorrectly?

There are several things that can go wrong when your HVAC system is not installed properly. Here are a few of the things that can happen. 

Inaccurate sizing. It’s critical to choose the appropriate size HVAC system in order to get the most out of your new installation. If you purchase HVAC equipment that is too little or too large, you will be uncomfortable as a result of your inefficient heating and cooling system. It will also prematurely wear out your equipment if you buy HVAC equipment that is too small or large. An excessively small HVAC system will run excessively, increasing wear and tear. If you have an excessively large HVAC system, it will continually cycle the compressor and fan controls. Both of these will drive up your energy costs.

Right-sizing isn’t limited to the size of your home, as many inexperienced installers would have you believe. You also need to consider local weather (particularly in the Seacoast Region), the number or stories, the heights of ceilings, the quantity of windows you have, the amount of insulation you’ve installed, how exposed your house is to sunshine, and more. Getting the correct HVAC system size is a complex procedure that should be handled by an experienced expert who will consider all these factors and more to ensure you get the right HVAC system for your house.

Leaks in ductwork. According to recent studies, too much of air you paid to cool or heat may never even reach your living area. In many homes, heated or cooled air is lost through your basement, attic, and cracks between your walls, resulting in higher energy costs for you. A professional HVAC installation necessitates a comprehensive duct examination, with any required repairs, as part of the job. This inspection may result in system-wide efficiency gains that you were not previously aware of in some cases.

Incorrect refrigerant charging. Over time, if your central air conditioner is undercharged, it may develop frost or ice on the cooling coils. As a result, poor cooling performance and the risk of a failing compressor motor are possible. The repairs for this are extensive and costly, and you could be without air conditioning during a heat wave. Air conditioning systems that are excessively charged may perform well, but not efficiently. Unfortunately, you won’t notice the problem until your energy bills go through the roof.

Excessive refrigerant pressure in the system may result in coolant entering the compressor, necessitating expensive repairs, and potentially causing a total air conditioning failure.

Avoid these problems by trusting your HVAC installation to the trained and experienced team of service technicians at P. Gagnon & Son! Contact us to get a FREE estimate.

Don’t ruin a cookout with a trip to the emergency room!

grilling tips maineSummer in the Seacoast Region is a wonderful time. There are beach days, vacations, and fun time with family and friends.

If you’re hosting a cookout this summer and are using a propane grill, it is essential that you know propane safety best practices so everyone can have fun safely.

Propane grilling safety list

  1. Regularly clean your whole grill, not just the grates. One in five grill fires is caused by leftover grease.
  2. Check that the grease trap is empty before turning the grill on. Empty it if it isn’t.
  3. Keep the grill lid open until the fire is fully established when starting your grill. 
  4. Never, under any circumstances, use your propane BBQ grill indoors or in an enclosed or covered space like a garage or carport. Carbon monoxide, a potentially deadly odorless and colorless gas, can build up to dangerous levels.
  5. To minimize the danger of it tipping, the grill must be on a flat, level surface.
  6. The grill must be at least five feet away from the house, outdoor furniture, trees, shrubs, and any other combustible objects.
  7. Keep children and pets away from the grill.
  8. NEVER leave a lit grill unattended. Before you start the grill, make sure you have on hand everything you’ll need such as tongs, gloves, brushes, sauces, food, and platters.
  9. If the igniter on your grill is broken, don’t use it. Look into purchasing a grill with an automatic igniter if you don’t already have one.
  10. When you are done grilling, clean the grates and remember to turn off both the grill and the propane cylinder valve.
  11. Propane cylinders should never be stored indoors or in a garage, shed, carport, sunporch, or any other enclosed spot. 
  12. Propane cylinders must be kept outside in a shady, dry location with the valve end up and on a level surface. Ground that is wet can cause the cylinder to rust.
  13. Don’t store propane cylinders near fire or spark-producing equipment such as your grill.
  14. Keep your propane cylinders upright when bringing the to be exchanged or refilled. Even a cylinder you think is empty can still have enough propane to leak if it’s on its side. 
  15. Don’t keep a cylinder in your car for very long. It’s best to go straight to the cylinder exchange or refill station and go straight home. If you can’t, make the cylinder swap or refill the final stop before returning home.

Do you have questions about propane safety? Get in touch with P. Gagnon & Son and we’ll be happy to help!

Get cool comfort with mini-splits from P. Gagnon & Son!

zone home cooling maineMany people believe that they have only two options for keeping their houses cool and pleasant: central air conditioning systems or window air conditioning units.

Both have advantages, but disadvantages as well.
 
If you have a boiler to heat your house, you probably do not have the ductwork required by central air conditioning to move cooled air throughout your home. If you want central A/C, you’ll need to install the ductwork. That adds up to thousands of dollars of additional costs on top of the installation of centralized air conditioning. Depending on the size of your home, that could put the total cost of adding central air conditioning to your home over $10,000. Also, your home is a dusty mess for potentially weeks during ductwork installation.

Window A/C units are inefficient, unsightly, and inconvenient since they must be installed in the spring and removed in the fall. They’re also a security concern since they are an access point for burglars. They block light while allowing dust, dirt, pollen, and insects into the house.

You can get all the cooling of air conditioning with none of these disadvantages when you have P. Gagnon & Son install top-quality Mitsubishi ductless mini-splits in your home!

How do ductless mini-splits work?

A ductless mini-split simply has two major components: the outdoor compressor unit and the indoor air handler. The condenser is linked to the compressor via a tube that also houses power and communication connections.

The compressor compresses refrigerant. The compressed refrigerant is then delivered to the condenser, where it loses its heat and is released into the outdoor air. The refrigerant is now a liquid and get sent through the conduit to the evaporator. The refrigerant absorbs heat from the warm indoor air that is blown over the evaporator coils. The cooled air is discharged from the air handler and into your home.

What are the advantages of ductless mini-splits?

Ductless air conditioning systems can be put in homes in less than a day and at a far lower cost than conventional central air conditioning. Ductless split systems may be placed in any area of your home, allowing you to use them where they are most effective. You no longer have to deal with window air conditioners.

Your ductless mini-splits can be tailored to your home. The size of the air handler can be adjusted based on the amount of space you want to cool. Ductless mini-split units are capable of operating independently, allowing for precise zoned cooling around your house, which can help you save big on energy costs!

Ready for cool, efficient comfort in your home? Contact us for a FREE estimate on adding ductless mini-splits! 

Make your back yard the destination for cookouts

propane grills maineDid you know that 80% of grills in the United States are gas grills, and most of those are powered by propane?

There are multiple reasons why propane is so popular for grilling, whether it’s for a quick weeknight supper or having family and friends over for a Fourth of July cookout.

While propane cylinders are easy and convenient, there’s another option when it comes to grilling with propane. You can have a line run from your home’s propane tank to your installed grill! With reliable propane delivery from P. Gagnon, you’ll be able to grill whenever you like, even in January, without any worries about how much propane is in your cylinder.

Here are some of the reasons propane is the way to go for grilling.

Food’s on the table fast

It’s been a busy day and everyone’s hungry. With charcoal, you’ll be waiting possibly a half-hour or longer before you can grill. Propane grills are ready for your food in less than five minutes! Once dinner’s over, all you have to do is turn off the grill, turn off the propane supply valve, clean off the grates, and you’re done! No waiting, no dealing with the mess that ashes create.

You’re in charge

One of the greatest advantages that propane has over charcoal is the ability to control the flame and temperature of your grill. This allows you to grill a complete meal quickly. You can set one side for higher-heat foods like burgers and steaks, while grilling barbecued chicken on medium on the other side. You can also have one side set on high and one side off for indirect grilling to make ribs, pulled pork, and brisket. Some propane grills come with built-in smoker boxes. You can also get propane grills with accessories such as side burners, multiple grilling levels, and rotisserie.

You can taste the difference propane makes

With propane, you get outstanding results. One reason is the precise temperature control. You get perfectly grilled vegetable instead of them being burnt outside and raw inside. Steaks can be cooked to your desired temperature. Boneless chicken breasts, one of the more challenging meats to grill, will be grilled to a safe temperature without drying out.

Clean-burning propane allows the flavors of the food to shine rather than smothering them with the smell and taste of smoke. This is especially important with lighter foods such as fish, chicken, and fruits.

Enjoy the benefits of propane in your back yard! Contact us today to learn more.

P. Gagnon & Son is here to explain, and help

home fuel costs maineIt’s been a rough 2022 when it comes to energy costs.

Energy costs in all industries—including oil, propane, natural gas, and electricity—had been rising steadily due to sluggish global oil production not keeping up with the mass demand that immediately followed the emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The cost of natural gas increased by more than 150%. The price of crude oil went over $85 per barrel, the highest it had been in seven years. Propane prices were at their highest level in seven years. Electricity costs also rose, owing to the industry’s reliance on natural gas-fired power plants.
 
Then came the invasion of Ukraine by Russia along with the sanctions that followed, which heaped more economic misery when it came to energy costs onto consumers already exhausted after two years of living in a pandemic.
 
We get it. We hate seeing what’s happening with fuel costs and we don’t know when things are going to get better. One thing for sure is that we promise that you will not run out of heating oil or propane. We have strong ties with our vendors and financial institutions.

We’re in this together with you and we offer solutions that can help you manage your fuel costs now and in the future. If you are having a hard time paying your P. Gagnon & Son bill, please get in touch with us before you fall behind so we can work with you on a solution.

Options to control your fuel costs

SimplePay. Whether you use heating oil or propane to heat your home, your bills are going to be bigger in the winter. With SimplePay, you spread your costs out over the year with 12 easy payments.

Pricing protection. We offer Fixed Price, where you agree to your price per gallon ahead of heating season and it doesn’t change, for both heating oil and propane. Heating oil customers can also choose Flex Plan, where you pay for your winter’s supply of heating oil ahead of time and get a discount of 25 cents per gallon, and Price Cap, where you pay your set price per gallon or the day’s market price, whichever is lower.

If you have any questions about our pricing and payment options, please contact us and we’ll gladly answer them.

Enjoy the benefits of propane safely

propane tank refill mainePropane is known as a versatile, efficient fuel and that versatility extends to the outdoors.

You know that propane is great for grilling thanks to its speed and ease of use. It can also heat your pool or spa more efficiently and dramatically faster than electricity. Propane can make your backyard comfortable and welcoming with propane fire pits, fireplaces, and deck and patio heaters.

To enjoy all of this, you need to know how to use propane safely. We’ve put together important information and tips for you to do that.

Grill with propane safely

Propane cylinder safety tips

Propane cylinders should never be kept indoors or in a garage, shed, carport, sunporch, or other similar enclosure. They should be kept outside in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight and on a dry surface. The cylinder may rust if it is on wet ground.

Propane tanks should be kept at least 10 feet from sources of heat, such as flames or spark-producing equipment like your grill.

When exchanging your propane cylinders, keep them upright. Even if you believe a cylinder is empty, if it’s on its side, it may still contain enough liquid propane to leak.

Don’t leave a cylinder in your car for long, especially if it’s hot outside. It’s best to go directly to and from your cylinder exchange or refill. If you can’t, make the cylinder exchange or fill the last stop before returning home.

Do you have questions about propane safety? Get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help.

Get an expert opinion from P. Gagnon & Son

heating service maineNow that winter is over, you probably don’t want to think about your heating system again until next fall. But now is a good time to think about it.

We strongly recommend that you get your furnace or boiler tuned up before next fall. You’ll be able to get a convenient appointment time, and, if repairs or replacement are needed your heating system will be ready no matter when the heating season begins.

If your heating system does need to be replaced, we’ll give you a FREE estimate for your new heating system and provide expert installation. Our affordable service plans help keep your heating system running smooth and at peak efficiency.

Signs of trouble with your home’s heating system

Odd noises. A properly functioning heating system tends to operate quietly. If you hear sounds like banging, popping, shrieking, rattling, or clanking, that’s a sign that something’s wrong or is about to go wrong in your heating system. Contact us for a service call.

Unusual odors. If you use heating oil, you should never smell it if your heating system is operating properly. Smelling oil could mean a leak, problems with the burner, heat exchanger failure, or exhaust system problems. A smoky smell indicates a back draft pulling flue gases through the exhaust system and into the home.

An increase in heating costs not related to fuel prices. Look over this past winter’s P. Gagnon & Son statements. Are you using more fuel than you normally would? This is a sign your heating system needs attention.

Poor performance. If your heating system is not producing enough heat, heating some rooms less than others, or, if you have a furnace, the air coming out of it feels humid, your heating system losing power. We’ll look the situation over and help you decide if you need to repair or replace.

Why replacing your heating system may be a good choice

There is a tipping point where repairs are not only delaying the inevitable, but they’re also wasting money. A good rule to go by is if repair costs are 50% or more of what a new heating system would cost, it’s time to replace.

Even if you maintain it regularly, a decades-old furnace or boiler won’t work as well as today’s modern, high-efficiency heating systems. 

How efficient are they? They can achieve efficiencies of up to 98%! This means that every dollar you spend on home heating oil or propane is spent almost entirely on heating and very little is lost through combustion. From the moment you switch on your new heating system, you’ll see a return on your investment.

Something else to consider is your plans for the next several years. If you want to sell your house in the next two or three years, investing in a new heating system now may be a wise investment. It will improve your home’s resale value and make your home more attractive to potential buyers. Is retirement on the horizon in the next years? Now is the right time to replace your heating system. You’ll not only get greater comfort and lower energy expenses, but you won’t have to worry about costly repairs, breakdowns, or replacements when you will be on a fixed income.

Now is a great time to get your home’s heating system tuned up. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

Find out if heating oil will “go bad” if you fill your tank now

heating oil delivery maineWith winter in the rearview mirror, you’re likely not thinking about your heating oil tank or the heating oil in it.

One common question we get asked is this time of year is, “How long does heating oil last before it goes bad?”

You won’t have to worry about the heating oil in your tank “going bad” between now and when you use it this winter. Heating oil has an 18- to 24-month shelf life. Thanks to the high-quality premium fuel we deliver, treated with the fuel preservative UltraGuard, your heating oil could last even longer than that!

So, if your tank still contains some heating oil from this past winter, it will still be perfectly safe to use when you turn on your heating system next winter.

There are, however, a few reasons why it’s a good idea to fill your tank now. Let’s go through them.

Condensation: The enemy of your heating oil tank

When your heating oil tank is not full, condensation appears on the inner bare walls of the vessel. When temperatures are hotter, such as in the spring and summer, this condensation develops faster.

Condensation is a major problem for your oil tank in several ways. Bacteria growth is encouraged by condensation in your heating oil, as it creates an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. If that keeps going, your heating oil develops sludge. Heating oil sludge clogs your fuel lines, lowers the efficiency of your heating system, and, if the pipes are completely blocked, your furnace or boiler will not get fuel and your heating system will fail. You’ll be left in the cold with a big repair bill.

When condensation builds up inside the heating oil tank, it falls the inside tank wall. Because it is heavier than heating oil, condensation falls to the bottom of the tank. Once there, the bacteria it helps to grow ends up developing sediment. Sediment causes the corrosion of your heating oil tank from the inside out.
 
If your heating oil tank corrodes and fails, you will have to replace it as well as remove it, and clean up any leaked fuel to regulatory standards. This might set you back some serious money!

Protect your tank by keeping it full

Condensation will not form in your tank if it is kept full during the summer.

Another advantage is that you’ll have a full tank of heating oil when the heating season resumes. If a chilly snap strikes early in the season, as it frequently does in the Seacoast Region, you’ll have plenty of heating oil on hand to keep your house warm and you won’t have to worry about the difficulty and expense of emergency heating oil delivery. 
 
If you want peace of mind about your heating oil tank, contact us today to learn more about our TankSure® program.